A Study in Meekness
Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents. Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land. So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.” And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD. And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are; northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the LORD. (Genesis 13:5-18)
As the LORD had promised, Abram became a very blessed man. And no doubt because his nephew Lot was linked with him, Lot was also greatly blessed (Genesis 12:2-3).
Possessions can sometimes produce problems, however—problems between people. Such was the case with the herdsman of the two clans. Abram took the high road, not wanting the strife to continue. Motivated more by the desire for godliness than the desire for greater gain, he gave Lot his choice of the land. Abram would take what was left to him.
In this act, Abram demonstrated the beautiful quality of meekness. In contrast, Lot demonstrated more of a self-seeking attitude. Lot saw the bountiful land before him, and chose for himself all the plain of Jordan.
Abram trusted God to give him all He wanted to give him; Lot trusted in the opportunity to have as much as he wanted. The result of Abram’s faith was that he was abundantly rewarded … God would give Abram everything his eyes could see, and innumerable descendants. The result of Lot’s choice was that he grew accustomed to a life of comfort and ease, eschewing nomadic life and enjoying city life. Later, this would land him in big trouble.
When a person truly trusts the Lord as Abram did, he/she arrives in the land of contentment. A contented person can allow others to have their space. They can make room for others and step out of the way. They are in control of the self-life, so that it’s not about them. This is the meek person, the one who inherits the earth (Matthew 5:5).
For Further Review
1. Look up and define the trait of meekness. How was this train exemplified in the story of Genesis 13?
2. What do you think is required for a person to act in meekness? Suggestion: think of the progression of beatitudes number one through three (Matthew 5:3-5). How do the first two beatitudes help you form your answer?
3. Think of an area in your life right now that requires you to truly trust the Lord. What promises in the Bible can you lean on to jumpstart your faith?